Pursuing Authentic Revival

There is a lot of talk about revival today, and certainly we are in need of an authentic one. But revival will not come in the ways that we think or even in some of the ways we are pursuing.

The authentic revivals of history (such as the Welsh revival, the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening) were not birthed by people seeking manifestations. They were not attempting to replicate something God had done before. They did not come with prophetic utterances preceding them. They were not founded on a personality, church, ministry or geographic location. They were not even expected to the magnitude they occurred.

People were hungry for God. They had become desperate for something authentic and had abandoned looking to man for answers. In their desert places, they developed an insatiable hunger and unquenchable thirst for God, and God fulfilled His Word: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

They pursued God in unity. They laid down all divisions. There were no walls between them. This unity was not concocted superficially nor corrupted by hidden agendas. It was genuine love and acceptance of one another fostered through brokenness, serving in the image of Christ, and desperation for God.

Genuine humility was present. They completely abandoned their own agendas. They were seeking no prosperity on earth. Nothing was more important than finding and knowing God. They desired God’s Name (Isaiah 26:8) and in no way sought to make a name for themselves. They nailed everything they had and everything they were to the cross.

There was undiluted preaching of the Word. No tickling of the ears, no fear of man, no compromise. This fostered an awakening to God’s Word among the people. Every authentic revival was preceded by the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and the people rededicating themselves to the reading and study of God’s Word. Through this, they stripped away the things that had been added to the Cross by cultural, fleshly and self-centered representations of the Gospel. They returned to the basics: love, prayer and the Word.

True revival wants the name of Jesus to be known among the nations, and thus there was a focus on the Great Commission. The people understood, accepted and adopted God’s priority of reaching souls. God’s priority became their priority – the salvation of the lost and hurting. As they focused on the Great Commission rather than heaping unto themselves, the Holy Spirit empowered them to accomplish the task for which He was sent to the church: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8).

We simply need to prepare the atmosphere for revival and seek God with all of our hearts. If our efforts are pure and genuine, God will respond.

“… Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12 NLT).

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